Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.
We have all been called to Wait in one way or another. Some of us are waiting on our spouses to turn back to the Lord. Some of us are waiting for an affair to end. Others of us are waiting on our own hearts to be softened. No matter what you are waiting on, God has called you to wherever you are. He has a plan.
While we are in His plan, He has called us to “walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” That’s a pretty high calling, for sure! It’s definitely not an easy calling.
One thing that the Spirit has shown me during my own times of waiting, is that my hope must be in Him, and Him alone. We talked about this briefly in the post before this one, but let’s take it a little further now. The last part of this passage in Ephesians says that we are “called in one hope of (our) calling.” One Hope. That hope must be put in Him, not in anything else. Our hope can’t be that our spouse will one day change. It can’t be in that our spouse’s affair might one day end. It can’t be in our children, our jobs, our money, or our home. It must be in Him. He is the only unchanging, unfailing Hope that we are offered. If you choose to put your hope in anything other than Him, your “hope” will fail you.
Unfortunately, this is not an idea that is widely accepted today. In fact, even in the “Christian” world, the idea is very prevalent that God is going to give us all of our “hopes and dreams”. Many Christians who are struggling in marriage put their hope in the idea that if they serve God and do their best to please Him, He will surely rescue their home and give them their marriage back. There is a popular song out right now called “Restore” by Chris August. For the most part, I love the message of the song. It’s all about how if you put Jesus in the middle of your marriage, that God will restore your home. I believe 100% that God must be in the middle of your marriage before your home will be able to be rebuilt. However, what happens to the wife (or husband) who wholeheartedly gives their heart to Him and surrenders all (life, marriage, desires, etc) to Him, but yet whose spouse refuses to do the same? Does God promise to restore that home? I can’t find that promise in scripture anywhere….no matter how much I want to find it. Instead, God promises us that He CAN save your home. He CAN fix every bit of it and He longs to. But he also knows what every parent knows. Just because our child wants something to work out, doesn’t mean that it’s best if it does. Every parent knows that missing a birthday party because of an action on the child’s part might be good for them to learn a lesson. God knows that we might need to suffer in our marriage for a while in order to truly grow in Him.
This is where our Hope comes in. If our hope is in our marriage being “restored” and it doesn’t get restored in a month or two, or even a year or two, then where is our hope now? Do we give up? Do we get discouraged? I sure would. However, if our hope is in Him who is moving to shape us and grow us, we will never be disappointed. We can always rest in the fact that He IS fulfilling His promises to us. He has never failed us yet, nor will He ever.
In contrast to the song “Restore”, I really like the lyrics to the song “Heal This Home” by Luminate. I really believe that “Restore” has good thoughts and motives. I just challenge you to look at the differences between a mindset. One mindset says “Surely, God will save this.” Another says, “I trust fully that God CAN save this. I surrender my life to HIS will.”
I do hope that this post does not discourage you in any way that God may not save your home. I am one that has seen God do amazing things in homes that look like nothing can be salvaged. I have full faith that God can and will work incredible ways in your life if you surrender to Him. I also know, though, that those “incredible ways” may not appear in ways that we may think. They may not come in reconciled homes or mended hearts. Instead, they may appear in you personally learning self-denial and gaining a closer walk with him. I challenge you to change your perspective from an earthly one into a heavenly one. Focus your one Hope in Him and what He wants to do in your life, rather than what you expect Him to.
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
Have faith that He is working and is in control.
If you have missed any of the previous posts in this “While I’m Waiting” series, go here to read them all.